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Ottawa Children’s Theatre goes international with virtual camps
Published Thursday, June 18, 2020 4:34PM EDT
OTTAWA -- Technology has taken centre stage over the last few months and now one local theatre company’s camps are going international.
After a successful spring session online, the Ottawa Children’s Theatre is launching 16 virtual summer camps from musical theatre and acting to improvisation and play productions.
“It’s fun,” said participant Sébastien Cimpaye. “It’s a different way of learning but if anything it’s just more cozy.”
“It’s all a grand experiment but we’re inviting everybody to come in on the experiment with us,” said Amanda Lewis, artistic director and founder of the Ottawa Children's Theatre.
Over the course of one or two weeks, participants will learn song and dance numbers, along with creating costumes, props and designing their own sets in their own Zoom frame.
“They’ve worked out some really interesting ways of doing monologues in the different boxes,” said Lewis. “The thing we’re learning is you can pass things from one Zoom box to the next, you can actually work with each other physically, vocally and be telling a story still.”
“In the beginning I was kind of skeptical because I wasn’t really sure what it was going to be but I like it because they make it fairly simple,” said participant Tamara Emond.
The camps involve time in front of a computer as well as off-screen activities.
“We’re going to have fun but we’re also learning great skills and those skills are important whatever you’re going to do whether you’re online or face to face,” said Lewis.
Technology is allowing the programs to reach a broader audience.
“We do have kids from Europe, we’ve got kids from all over the United States,” Lewis said. “It made me realize that not only could my kids come from everywhere but my instructors could come from everywhere.”
The camps run online from July 6 to August 21.